Subject: Archiving the JMMH
November 17 and 18, 1998
How do you intend to archive your journal to be sure people will be able to read/see it in 50+ years?
[Follow-up, November 18] Please feel free to pass on my question and your answer. One reason I was interested in this issue is that I am on the editorial board of a peer-reviewed, electronic chemistry journal, the Internet Journal of Chemistry ( and this issue comes up on a regular basis.
Steve Heller (, NIST/SRD, Gaithersburg, MD, USA  


Reply: Archiving the JMMH
November 18, 1998
Dear Steve Heller, Your question actually touches on two problematic aspects of publishing digital multimedia content. The first pertains to the physical preservation of digitally-coded documents; the second to preserving "viewing" capabilities (i.e. software compatibility issues raised by the evolution of software over time). I'll try to address both aspects. We are relying on several "archival strategies." First, we maintain several backup copies of the journal with accompanying versions of Microsoft Explorer and Netscape browser programs capable of running those copies. These are maintained on hard drives on four PCs. All component files—text, graphic images, audio, video—are preserved in several formats. Soon we will be purchasing a 27-gigabyte server with multiple hard drives for built-in storage redundancies. We also intend to have a mirror storage device off-site. We will burn at least two Phthalocyanine dye CD masters of each issue. They will be stored at different sites—in sealed, dust-free containers—and kept in a dark/cool location (one copy will most likely be deposited in the humidity- and temperature-controlled storage facilities of our university library's archives and manuscript collection deparment. We intend to periodically revisit stored files and duplicate onto newer storage media where necessary. We will update file formats and mediums as technology changes over time. As software changes, we may have to modify original coding to permit viewing content as it was originally intended to be viewed. We will maintain old technology and software to permit file format transfers into the immediate and distant future. I hope this answers your query. If you have specific suggestions for better strategies, please send them along. Would you mind if we posted your query and the above response in the correspondence section of the Journal?

Gerald Zahavi, Co-Editor, JMMH  

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